Torchwood channels Agatha Christie once again with an intriguing whodunit.
A man is collecting rock samples on the surface of Mars when another human being approaches him claiming to be from Torchwood. They are actually in a quarry on Earth running a simulation to see if man can survive on Mars. Andy Davidson however, is not concerned with that. He’s more concerned about the pile of dead bodies and a mysterious distress call that alerted Torchwood to the plight of the crew. He becomes more concerned when the bodies continue to pile up and it appears as though the android, Dave, is malfunctioning.
Once again, Big Finish has used Agatha Christie as an influence to set up the latest monthly Torchwood release. This time around though, it is Sgt Andy Davidson (played with flair once again by Tom Price) in the role of Poirot. James Goss’ script is generally well written with some intriguing exchanges and draws upon the very best elements of Christie’s mysteries whilst throwing in a loving nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey at the same time. It is probably however, about five minutes too long and just feels a little padded in places.
Price is ably supported by the small cast of actors which include Kae Alexander (Mina), Jeremy Ang Jones (Dave), Rakie Ayola (Emma), and Ronak Patani (Faisal). Jones, especially, plays his role as the malfunctioning Dave to perfection.
Lisa Bowerman keeps the action flowing nicely from the director’s chair where she is ably assisted by the brilliant sound and music of Joe Meiners and Blair Mowat respectively. There is also a bonus interview at the conclusion of the episode.
This season of monthly releases has, for the most part, seen a marked improvement on the previous season’s story quality. The originality of the storytelling and the quality of the directing, sound and acting have generally been of an outstanding level and this release continues the good work that is being done in the Torchwood universe by Big Finish.
Fans of the series will enjoy this episode as a pleasant distraction from the world’s ills. It is definitely worth a listen.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: August 2020
Approx RRP: $20 CD, $9 Digital Download